Friday, August 31, 2018

A Word

This song is from the movie Man on Fire .  Released in 2004 and starring Denzel Washington, I recently caught it on one of our movie channels.  I really like it.  But then, I like anything Denzel does.   

The song is called Una Palabra, by Carlos Varela.

It's a haunting tune and perfect for the scene it's used in.  

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The Chief Over All Winged Creatures

2016: Remembering The Old Spanish Trail
2015: Rain Frog
2014: Wanted: Traveling Maid
2013: Flippin' Fantastic Finds
2012: There’s Room At This Inn – For Dancing And Gambling
2011: Later, Fishies!
2010: It’s In The Details
2009: Plenty Of Places To Roam, No Place To Park It
2008: E Vac You A She Own!!
2007: Eddie Steals A Bite Friday
2006: Steal-A-Meme
2005: The Day In Pictures

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Pork Chop Express

We see all kinds of livestock being hauled when we're on the road - horses, cows,  chickens, bulls, turkeys, pigs.

They always smell awful but sometimes you'll see them sticking their noses out of the holes in the trailer and think, "He's so cute!"

This one guy, though, with that blue eye, is kinda creeping me out.  It looks like a person's eye. 

It's as if he knows he's headed to Bacontown.

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2017: Full-Blown Wonder
2016: Saguaro Nest
2015: I Do Laundry And Bring Strawberries
2014: A Match Made In Trucking Heaven
2013: Shiny Ride Home
2012: Chow Fun And Coconut Bliss
2011: Beautiful By Nature. Dirty By Choice.
2010: Let’s Go Shopping!!!
2009: A Magnificent Place To Wait For A Train
2008: Old Blue Eyes Was Right When He Said It Was A Very Good Year
2007: The Hills Are Alive…Or Are They?
2006: Nostalgia
2005: 37 Going On 20

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

I Like The Light

I like the light of sunrise better than sunsets. 

I like driving in the early morning when there's no one on the road. 

I like to see the top of the sun as it peeks over the horizon. 

I like the morning fog that hovers above the grass. 

I like the way the light plays on the clouds. 

I like this hour.

It's my favorite time of day.

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In The Stacks

2016: Isn't He A-Moose-Ing?
2015: Ten Saturday Links
2014: Farm And Garden Since 1936
2013: Waiting In The Waiting Room
2012: Waiting Out Our Mistake
2011: A Brilliant Island Adventure
2010: It’s Getting So Much Easier These Days To Spot Idiots
2009: Scenes From Motor City
2008: Eddie Mad Hatter Friday
2007: What A Grape Idea!
2006: You Couldn’t Pay Me Enough
2005: Due Amici Designs

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Displacing Large Volumes Of Water

Today was Arizona's Primary Election.  Ed and I usually vote early, by mail, because we're on the road but this year didn't get our ballots in time to mail them out.  Thankfully we got home just in time this week to walk them into our local polling place in person. 

Next up, the General Election in November.  We will definitely be here for that.

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My Brain Loves Order

2016: A Good Atmosphere Doesn't Always Equal Good Food
2015: Will Walk For Coffee
2014: The Real Challenge Was Getting In And Out Of It
2013: Stormy Wyoming
2012: Entertaining The Masses
2011: A Very Expensive Day Of Laze
2010: A Little River On A Big Lake In The Middle Of A Floating Stage
2009: Eddie The Cicada Whisperer Friday
2008: Maybe We Should Sell Our Truck And Buy An Airboat
2007: Me And My Man
2006: If You’re Going To Rescue Me, Bring Sandwiches
2005: Hurricane Equality

Sunday, August 26, 2018

In A Dream, I Saw A City Invicible

The motto of Camden, New Jersey is, "In a Dream, I Saw a City Invincible."

It's excerpted from American poet Walt Whitman's poem, I Dreamed In A Dream.

Walt Whitman spent the last years of his life in Camden, New Jersey. 

"Today the Walt Whitman House, a National Historic Landmark, provides an intimate glimpse into the life of the poet, attracting visitors from around the world. Whitman's original letters, personal belongings, the bed in which he died, and the death notice that was nailed to the front door have all been preserved, as well as a collection of rare nineteenth-century photographs, including the earliest known image of Whitman - an 1848 daguerreotype."

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2017: Music For Meatballs
2016: Flashing Back To '79
2015: Pugly Curiosity
2014: Our Rear View Looks Fantastic
2013: An Oasis Of Tranquility
2012: Clouds Over The Whitestone
2011: Room And Board
2010: Filler And Fluff
2009: Ghost Town
2008: Second Only To Feet
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Heading South With One Wayward Goose
2005: Red Texas Sunrise

Saturday, August 25, 2018

The Maverick Says Goodbye

I'm a native New Yorker but have been a resident of Arizona off and on for the past 35 years.  John McCain was my Senator.

He passed away today at the age of 81.  Although he was way too conservative for my liking, and he supported many policies I disagree with, he did have a way about him that evoked old-school manners, class, and dignity.  He wasn't perfect, and he made mistakes, as he'd be the first to tell you, but he did serve his country for sixty of his 81 years.

This is his farewell letter to America:

My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else's.

I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America's causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life's fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

Fellow Americans' — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.

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Weird Video, Good Song

2016: Grab A Banana And Get Shopping!
2015: Castles And Murder Ballads
2014: Not Really Trucking From NOAA To WHOI
2013: Paddling The Hudson 
2012: Cue The Flying Monkeys
2011: Project Island Life
2010: Be Italian
2009: I’m Not Just In The Granny Lane Anymore
2008: Where Pretty Resides
2007: The Sweet Sight Of Summer
2006: You Oughta Be In Pictures
2005: Oh, Brother!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Plain And Simple

If I were in Texas, I'd most certainly cast my vote for Beto O'Rourke.  But since I'm not a Texas resident, I did the next best thing - I donated to his Senate campaign.

In this video, he explains why he supports the NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. 

There is no disrespect in their kneeling.  They do not have any ill will toward the flag, military members, veterans, or our country.  
They are just using their platform, their visibility, their very fortunate high-paying positions, to bring attention to a subject that needs it.

Plain and simple.


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2017: A Step Up From Shine
2016: MOD Is What You Make It
2015: There's A Reason They Call Them Massholes
2014: Delicious Assembly Line
2013: The Greatest Invention Of Human Kind
2012: I Can Haul Yer Explosives And Stuff
2011: That Bitch Irene Is Trying To Ruin My Vacation
2010: Licking Our Chops
2009: I’ll Start Working On That Sarcasm Font Right Away
2008: False Security
2007: Protecting The Posies
2006: Asking Too Much
2005: Slotsa Money

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Classic Livery

1965 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 limousine seen in a shop in Wilmington, North Carolina.

In this book by Thomas McPherson, he says of the Series Seventy-Five: 

"From the late 1930’s through the mid-1980’s, it was truly the Cadillac of Cadillacs – the car of choice for the titans of American business, government, and the entertainment industry. The stately long-wheelbase Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five Eight-Passenger Sedan and Imperial Limousine occupied an exalted niche at the very pinnacle of the automotive pecking order in the US and abroad.

Introduced in 1937, Cadillac’s new Series 75 included 11 Fleetwood body styles ranging from coupes and convertibles to a seven-passenger touring sedan. In 1938, the restyled Series 75 got what was destined to become its signature body style—a severely formal long-wheelbase sedan and companion limousine. Cadillac Fleetwood Seventy-Five business Sedans and limousines quickly won favor with commercial livery operators and funeral directors, challenging rival Packard’s long domination of this small but prestigious market.

By 1941 the Fleetwood Seventy-Five name was reserved exclusively for General Motors Corporation’s flagship car—the long-wheelbase formal sedan and companion limousine with glass division."

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Passing Between The Sun And Earth

2016: Mid-Century Copper Town
2015: Signs Of Summer
2014: State-Of-The-Art Movement
2013: Not My Kind Of Gold Mine
2012: Fat Lou Captured In Rare Photo
2011: Oceanfront Property At Lot 61003/94
2010: Monkey Pod Treasure
2009: Eddie Embraces The Rules Friday
2008: They Have A MAGAZINE???
2007: Planting The Sun
2006: Training Day
2005: Cannonball Run

Monday, August 20, 2018

You Don't Bring A Toaster To A Wedding

I didn't marry an Italian or have a big Italian wedding, but what this comedian is saying is true of every Italian wedding I've ever attended.

It was only when I moved to Arizona that I learned people brought gifts to weddings. What??  It was bad enough that no one dressed up for weddings in Tucson - casual sundresses and jeans were a common sight - but they actually walked into a wedding reception with a wrapped gift and piled it on a table with other gifts.  I'd never heard of that in my life.  We never bought gifts.  We always gave money.  That's just how it was done. 

The small satin bag he talks about, we always called "la buste" (whcih actually means "the envelopes").  And the bride and groom really did go through them at the end of the night. 

And let me tell you, Italians are very generous.  Newly married couples totally make a killing! 

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2017: A Castle In Bluegrass Country
2016: The Crest At Sunset
2015: Over 80 Feet Of Traveling Comfort
2014: Insta-Coastal
2013: Traffic
2012: Fire Hazard
2011: Smiling High
2010: Time Travel
2009: One More Reason I Love The Highway Hags
2008: Boathouse On The Gulf
2007: Canada Is Bubblicious
2006: You Know You’re In A Hotel That Doesn’t Have A Star Rating…
2005: It’s A Dry Heat

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Vibrating Eggs

Last week we got new steer tires (the most important tires on the truck).

We drove about 900 miles and Ed said, "There's something wrong with these tires."

There was a vibration.

It was so slight, no normal person would have noticed it.  And on a truck that vibrates the minute the key is turned, it's sometimes difficult to determine good vibrations from bad.  But Ed knows his truck.  Even I can tell when something's wrong.  I don't always know what it is, or even how to articulate it - "It's doing a thing." - but I know when it's not right.

"They're not round," Ed said.  "They feel egg-shaped."

Egg-shaped doesn't work for a tire.  No wonder the truck was wobbling.

We got the tires in Nebraska though, so we had to make our way back to get them changed.  It wound up being an all-day affair.  When they put the tires on the machine, it confirmed what Ed thought.  They weren't round.  And although they replaced the tires for free, and of course balanced them, there is still a verrrrry slight vibration.

But we had to go, we had a load to deliver.  Ed talked to the shop manager and he said if anything goes wrong to come back and he'll take care of it.  Not ideal, because it's freakin' Nebraska and we don't go through there very often, but worth the trip if it means getting the tires replaced.  

We're now in North Carolina.  I'm so looking forward to driving 1,400 wobbly miles back to Nebraska.

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2017: I've Realized I Need Cookies AND A Vacation
2016: Sitting On Secrets
2015: More Montana
2014: 'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky
2013: I Feel Like I'm Being Followed
2012: Keeping Pace With The Seniors
2011: Island Bound
2010: Cristo Velato
2009: Flash Dancing Through Summer
2008: Another Day, Another 32 Things About Me
2007: A Bottle And A Nap Would Be Nice
2006: Because You Never Know When You’re Going To Need A Roman Candle
2005: Thank A Trucker

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Queen Has Entered The Kingdom

We lost a legend today.  Aretha Franklin, who has provided the soundtrack to many of our lives, has passed at the age of 76 at her home in Detroit, Michigan. 

I watched Soul Train every Saturday for most of my life - the first episode aired in 1970, the last in 2006.  I don't remember a Saturday morning without the Soul Train line.  In the video above, from a December 1979 episode dubbed "A Salute To Aretha Franklin", Don Cornelius switches it us and asks Aretha if she knows any Smokey Robinson songs. She proceeds to play "Ooo Baby Baby" with Smokey jumping in, making it a duet.  Most artists are honored to have Aretha cover their songs, but as many find out, once Aretha does one of your songs, it becomes hers. 

Here are some of my favorite Aretha songs:

Ain't No Way

Day Dreaming - this is probably my top favorite.  It  "He's the kind of guy that would say, 'Hey, baby let's get away, let's go some place, huh, where, I don't care'..."

Until You Come Back To Me - "I guess I'll rap on your door, tap on your window pane."

Here's another arrangement of Until You Come Back To Me - recorded live, in Canada, in 1978.  Upbeat, sassy, and fantastic.

Something He Can Feel - "
I'm givin him somethin he can feel.  
To let him know this love is real."  So soulful.  So Aretha.  En Vogue did a super sexy version of this song in the 90s - I don't know who's sexier in this video, the girls on the stage or the guys in the audience.  Oh my my.  Great song.    

I Say A Little Prayer - "The moment I wake up. Before I put on my makeup. I say a little prayer for you. "

You Are All I Need To Get By - "
Like the sweet morning dew, I took one look at you,

And it was plain to see, you were my destiny."

Aretha has sung songs in all genres, from her start in gospel, to the time she stepped in for Pavarotti and did Nessun Dorma.  The Queen of Soul does Opera.

In 2015, Aretha sang You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman, in tribute to the song's co-writer, Carole King,  who was receiving the Kennedy Center Honors for lifetime achievement.  The entire crowd, including President Obama, his wife Michelle, Carole King, Clive Davis, rose to their feet as she belted out this classic.  Aretha was 73 years old when she brought the house down.
Aretha also performed at Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration - to the largest inaugural crowd in history - she marked the occasion by singing "My Country "Tis of Thee".  Estimated at 1.8 million people, it was generally considered a record for the number of people on the National Mall. The hat almost stole the show.
Many people consider Aretha's music to be part of their life's soundtrack.  I certainly do, as many of her songs, I first heard in my youth.  She's a true legend.

And she's left a rich legacy that'll take us through the rest of our lives.

And that certainly warrants R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

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2017: Dreary Weather Surrounds The Pin Stripe
2016: Circa 1980
2015: A Tornado Dreams Of Wide Open Space Like This
2014: The End Of Day
2013: Until I'm One With You
2012: I Didn’t Even Have To Slip Him My Room Key
2011: Rest Comes For Robo-Ed
2010: Better Than A Leg Press Machine. Or How To Get A Good Looking Left Gam.
2009: How Can I Tread On You When I Can’t Even Turn Around?
2008: Popping Good Time
2007: Touching Down For A Quick Rest Break
2006: Follow Your Heart
2005: All About The Benjamins

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A Welcome Delay

Yesterday I sat in traffic in State College, Pennsylvania for an hour and a half.  Oddly, I don't really get too annoyed with traffic.  I like the slow pace, I like to people watch, and I especially like when it comes to a complete standstill and I have to pull the brake and just sit there.

Stop and go traffic is annoying, especially when you have to shift every three feet.  My left leg actually starts to get fatigued from pushing the clutch in so many times.  It's like spot exercising.  I half expect to come out with a thigh that looks like Popeye's arms.

I also didn't mind because Pennsylvania - especially this part - is stunningly beautiful.  Oh my God, all the green!  The lush trees.  Hills.  Grass.  It was glorious.  It had been raining on and off so the sky was a bit cloudy, no glaring sun to annoy me.

Of course there are the people who need to scoot in front of you because they think they're "getting ahead".  I prefer to be behind another truck rather than a car though because constantly watching a little vehicle's movement is annoying.  I'd rather creep along with a truck.  I had some guy squeeze between me and the truck in front of me and I kept thinking I was going to roll forward and crush him.  At some point, the lane to the left moved a wee bit faster and he darted over there.  To get one car length ahead.  Idiot.

I thought there was an accident because the app on my phone showed a fender bender up ahead.  Turns out it wasn't an accident, it was just construction - two lanes merging into one - backing up traffic for miles. 

Eventually, the road opened up and the traffic quickly dispersed.  My respite from the long haul was over.  It was time to go back to work.

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The Moose With Golden Antlers
2016: Snack Money
2015: Mae Mae Shows You How It's Done
2014: Nope, Don't See Anything I Need Here
2013: Bears Outnumber Bigfoot  
2012: Betting On My Man To Show Me A Great Time
2011: Cut And Color
2010: X Marks The Imaginary Spot
2009: A Field That Looks Perfect For Wrasslin’…If It Weren’t For The Sign
2008: Come Visit Me In Italy!
2007: Asked And Answered
2006: L.E.A.P.
2005: Ed Visits His First Warehouse Store